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How Will Autonomous Vehicles Transform Parking?

By January 17, 2022Blog

With urban populations expected to rise by more than 50% in the next 30 years, city planners are looking to smart mobility technology to help reduce traffic congestion and increase overall efficiency. Although cities across North America have adapted to the surge in car sharing and delivery services, autonomous vehicles (AVs) are now the next major trend to plan for. As a result, parking operators and city planners are tasked with building an infrastructure around AVs and recognizing how this innovation will impact their parking assets.

What is an Autonomous Vehicle?

An autonomous vehicle – also known as a driverless or self-driving vehicle – is one that is able to operate itself and perform necessary functions without a driver involved. Using a fully automated driving system, an AV can independently sense its surroundings and respond to external conditions that the driver would traditionally manage.

How does this impact the infrastructure of parking?

When parking a car, it’s important to choose a spot that has enough room for all passengers to exit comfortably. Driverless vehicles, however, can drop passengers off right at the entrance or destination and park anywhere – even in a space where the car doors won’t open. This may also eliminate the need for additional elevators and staircases within a particular lot, leaving room for extra spots within the facility. A study conducted by the University of Toronto found that parking lots designed with AVs in mind could accommodate 62% to 87% more cars than those strictly designed for conventional vehicles. This suggests that if AVs become a prominent mode of transportation in the future, parking operators will need to adapt their parking strategy in order to stay responsive and reap the benefits of this innovation.

What does this mean for the future of mobility in smart cities? 

With less people commuting and the need for delivery services at an all time high, it’s safe to say that AVs will become a highly sought after asset in the mobility industry. By 2030, AVs are expected to deliver more than 20 billion parcels and generate more than $33 billion in revenue. Notably, over the last decade, Amazon has spent billions of dollars on finding more efficient solutions for same-day delivery, with a substantial investment directed toward AV technology. 

How can smart parking technology help?

As North American cities continue to see a steady increase in their populations, traffic congestion is a huge concern. With that being said, the combined use of smart parking technology and smart mobility technology could be the key to more efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly modes of transportation for people and goods. By using a cloud-based parking platform, parking operators and city planners can gather valuable data with the ability to offer automated access control and real-time parking guidance – even for autonomous vehicles. Operators can also identify the number of AVs entering their lots on a daily basis, which can inform their parking strategy and allow them to be more responsive to the changing landscape of the automotive industry. 

At Roker, we harness the power of smart technology to help smart cities across North America improve the parking experience within their municipalities. Our software-as-as-service (SaaS) platform is designed with the future of parking in mind, using cloud-based parking features that successfully support the growth of the automotive industry. To learn more about how Roker can help your organization, contact us here.

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